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Author Topic: Bee removal advice  (Read 271 times)

Offline Quarinteen

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Bee removal advice
« on: June 30, 2020, 05:18:18 pm »
Hello everyone. I am not a bee keeper, but may be soon it seems. I have a small colony of honey bees outside my front door living in my lawn sprinkler control box. I don?t want to kill them or destroy the give. I know how badly we need them. I was going to have someone come and get them for me. These places charge over $200 bucks though. I would have figured it would be free since I am giving them bees to add to their own and generate income from it. Since they charge I started thinking maybe I should just leave them and try to get to to move into a box I will build. I just got some wax foundation for one and some lemon grass oil I read will attract them into it. My question is should I be doing this in the long run? I mean I love wild honey but I don?t want to end up killing them. What would be the advisable course of action here?

Offline Quarinteen

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Re: Bee removal advice
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 05:21:20 pm »
Another question. I did remove a small piece of the give to see what I was working with. There was larva in all the caps. That got me wondering about honey. Do bees put the honey in separate caps then the eggs? How does that work exactly? Do the eggs hatch then the honey is deposited and capped or do they make a separate hive for honey? The piece I pulled had only a couple of caps with honey the rest were all larva

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Bee removal advice
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 08:07:45 pm »
First of all, welcome to the forum!  Secondly, thank you for asking for advice!  Too many newbees trying to "save the bees" just toss some in a box and expect them to magically pump out honey, so kudos to you.  I have never done a cutout (where you cut out the combs and rubber band or tie them onto frames) or a trapout (where you lure the bees from a nest site into an artificial hive), but many of our members are experts at removals, so I'm sure someone else will chime in.  I can answer 2 of your questions however.

I was going to have someone come and get them for me. These places charge over $200 bucks though. I would have figured it would be free since I am giving them bees to add to their own and generate income from it. 
It's true that some beekeepers will come and remove bees for free, but some will not.  Removals can be challenging and take up the beekeepers time, which of course is worth something.  Also not all bees are worth the price of a 3 lb. package.  Just like any livestock, there are bees that will make you money, and bees that will cost you money, and it's a gamble when doing a removal if the bees will be any good.  They could be gentle, great honey produces, and have survivor genes for varroa, or they could be a mite-infested colony that absconded from someone's hive. 

Another question. I did remove a small piece of the give to see what I was working with. There was larva in all the caps. That got me wondering about honey. Do bees put the honey in separate caps then the eggs? How does that work exactly? Do the eggs hatch then the honey is deposited and capped or do they make a separate hive for honey? The piece I pulled had only a couple of caps with honey the rest were all larva
Inside any bee colony the bees have areas for raising brood, for storing honey, and for storing pollen.  They may rearrange the hive's organization, but there is only a larva, honey, or pollen in any cell at any given time.  Generally speaking, in an artificial hive, bees raise brood in the lower box(es) of the hive, store pollen at the edges of the brood area, and store honey in the upper boxes.   

 
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Bee removal advice
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 01:29:53 pm »
        As to expense of removal: Bear in mind that you - or a beekeeper who takes the bees - will need to spend about $150 on equipment to keep the bees in.

      Bees naturally propagate themselves, and with control on genetics and not much time or effort, a beekeeper can arrange to "split" bee colonies.  Feral colonies are a random risk, as 15th member said.  And depending on the situation, it can involve construction demolition, heavy lifting, and time which is valuable.

       As to removal techniques: Most removals require a bee vac to remove bees so that 1) the bees are more docile during the removal 2) the comb can be more easily saved.  A shop vac is too strong and will damage the bees.  If it is a large colony, I have not been keeping all the brood (unborn bees) because it is too much for the colony to handle after the injury. A cutout takes a lot of tools, and much TLC for the colony after the change in habitat.

        Since the colony you have there has brood already, it won't leave them behind, even if the bees see your nice box.  Here's an idea: you might get them to expand into a beehive. 
        Is your sprinkler control box a plastic shell? If yes, and you want to become a beekeeper, you might:
 
1) get a $16 smoker from ebay and a protective veil, and take all safety precautions by doing your research.
2) Buy a hive, frames, bottom board, and Imirie shim with a notch, and outer cover.
3) Prepare the hive by removing the bottom board, and setting the hive body on two wood runners (so it doesn't rot over the next few weeks).
4) Remove the sprinkler box lid and set the hive/shim/lid on top. 

     If the only way out for the bees is to go out of their nest is through the upper notch in the hive, they may move up into the hive.  Or ....they will move up when they run out of room in the sprinkler box.  It's sort of a Carl Hogan trap out. 
    Or maybe you could dig out & lift up the plastic sprinkler box, and put it on top of a hive's inner cover, and then the bees might move down into the complete hive.

        Just some thoughts, to avoid cutting everything apart, and instead letting it morph over time.  If you want to learn about how to be a beekeeper....
http://leeming-consulting.com/SchoolNet/courses/beekeeping1.0/topic_one__an_introduction_to_beekeeping.html



Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bee removal advice
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 09:39:48 pm »
Quarintine,
I have a friend who lives in North Las Vegas. He also wanted to keep bees. I looked into your area and you are definitely in an Africanized Honey Bee area. I talked to a local beekeeper and they are forced to work with AHBs. There are so many in the area that they take over his hives.  I had to talk him out of being a beekeeper.
AHBs build their hives in the ground, like yours.
Do not try to do a removal. Not only would you bee in danger but possibly anyone within 500 feet of this hive could bee attack while you are trying to remove it. Even if you started and had to stop, the area around the hive could bee dangerous to anything moving.
Sorry for the bad news. 
Jim Altmiller